Making the Most of New Opportunities: Seychelles Attends Inaugural ITB China

Seychelles was among tourism destinations that availed of the opportunity to be showcased at a new travel trade show focusing exclusively on the Chinese market.

The Seychelles’ Tourism Board and trade partners participated in the first-ever ITB China, held at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition Convention Center from 10th to 12th May 2017.

The event provided three days of perfect networking opportunities for handpicked Chinese buyers and international travel industry partners. Around 600 companies from some 70 countries and regions conducted business-to-business (B2B) meetings at the exhibition space, which had been booked well in advance.

The Seychelles delegation was led by the Chief Executive of the island nation’s Tourism Board Mrs. Sherin Francis, who foresees potential business opportunities between the Seychelles and Chinese trade, following the various meetings conducted.

“I am hopeful that this will bring more of the experienced Chinese travelers from China to our shores,” said Mrs Francis.

The Seychelles Tourism Board was also represented by the Director for China, Mr Jean-Luc Lai-Lam, Senior Marketing Executive for China, Ms Stephanie Lablache, as well as the Senior Marketing Executive for South and North China, Mr Sen Yu and Mr Li Huanhuan, respectively. Travel trade partners at the ITB China included Mason’s Travel, Creole Travel Services, 7°South and Constance Hotels & Resorts.

The Seychelles’ participation at the first-ever ITB China, followed the launch of the destination’s 2017 strategy for the Asian nation, with emphasis being placed on the high end segment of the Chinese tourism market.

China has been described as the main driving force for growth in international tourism. According to the World Tourism Organization, UNWTO, the number of outbound travelers from China recorded a 6 percent increase in 2016, as it rose to 135 million. This helped consolidate China’s position as the number one source market in the world since 2012.

ITB China is in fact an offshoot of ITB Berlin, one of the world’s largest international tourism trade fair and it’s the second such travel show which Messe Berlin organizes on the Asian continent after ITB Asia, held in Singapore over the last 8 years.

Commenting on the decision to target the world’s largest travel market, the Chief Executive of Messe Berlin, Dr Christian Goke said: “At Messe Berlin we are proud that, for some of our exhibitors, this is their first travel exposure in China. Like Messe Berlin, they too are highly optimistic about the new partnership that can be made during ITB China, an event dedicated to establishing new travel trade business relations between China and the world. At the same time, we aim to bring the best of our expertise and contacts from ITB Berlin & ITB Asia to serve the Chinese travel market.”

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